Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

General Discussion

Posted by Admin on December 26th, 2010

Admin.

This page is for the discussion of general crossword related matters and other topics of interest.

373 Responses to “General Discussion”

Pages: « 14 5 6 7 [8]

  1. 351
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Lebon
    Comment #9 here tells all:

    http://www.fifteensquared.net/2012/11/02/independent-8129-phi/

    As a further hint, the Nina begins IT’S NOT IN …

  2. 352
    Lebon Says:

    Ah, the penny drops.
    Thanks Gaufrid.

  3. 353
    Lebon Says:

    Is there a blog site that you can send your own cryptic clues for consideration of other like minded people ?

  4. 354
    beery hiker Says:

    In the discussion of last week’s Guardian prize (Philistine 26172), Brendan (not that one) asked whether anyone had a full list of the setters of the Guardian crosswords since the start of their archive in June 1999. This is something I have already tried to assemble (using both this site and the Guardian)- what follows is a summary of the stats. There are a few gaps in the list, and a few that appear as “None” in the archive – this is the full list of setters, with total, number in 2014 so far, first and last dates:

    1,Araucaria,787,0,26/06/1999,16/11/2013
    2,Rufus,604,6,28/06/1999,10/02/2014
    3,Paul,524,5,16/07/1999,31/01/2014
    4,Gordius,314,2,15/07/1999,28/01/2014
    5,Shed,185,1,13/07/1999,23/01/2014
    6,Chifonie,170,2,03/07/1999,24/01/2014
    7,Orlando,168,0,14/09/1999,02/12/2013
    8,Pasquale,154,2,02/07/1999,29/01/2014
    9,Bunthorne,145,0,10/08/1999,04/11/2006
    10,Brendan,132,2,11/05/2006,06/02/2014
    11,Brummie,123,2,04/07/2003,05/02/2014
    12,Rover,116,0,24/06/1999,20/01/2011
    13,Quantum,111,0,21/07/1999,15/02/2011
    14,Taupi,109,0,07/07/1999,14/11/2009
    15,Logodaedalus,97,0,06/07/1999,26/08/2013
    16,Janus,89,0,29/06/1999,30/10/2006
    17,Enigmatist,85,0,26/08/1999,09/11/2013
    18,Arachne,74,2,28/06/2006,30/01/2014
    19,Puck,72,1,08/12/2006,17/01/2014
    20,Audreus,59,0,01/10/1999,09/01/2013
    21,Bonxie,40,0,01/05/2009,05/10/2013
    22,Crucible,39,0,03/05/2008,29/12/2013
    23,Crispa,39,0,05/07/1999,06/12/2004
    24,Boatman,37,0,01/10/2008,12/12/2013
    25,Mercury,36,0,28/07/1999,26/07/2002
    26,Auster,35,0,30/05/2000,22/12/2010
    27,Gemini,32,0,04/08/1999,19/01/2005
    28,Philistine,27,2,26/05/2011,01/02/2014
    29,Tramp,26,1,28/04/2011,11/01/2014
    30,Plodge,22,0,09/07/1999,01/10/2002
    31,Picaroon,20,2,16/03/2012,07/02/2014
    32,Fawley,20,0,25/06/1999,11/09/2000
    33,Qaos,13,1,12/01/2012,15/01/2014
    34,None,10,0,12/07/1999,04/03/2002
    35,Biggles,9,0,01/04/2000,26/10/2013
    36,Fidelio,6,0,06/02/2001,23/04/2003
    37,Nutmeg,5,2,20/09/2013,04/02/2014
    38,Hendra,5,0,29/10/1999,18/01/2002
    39,Egoist,4,0,18/07/2000,17/07/2003
    40,Otterden,3,1,25/10/2013,25/01/2014
    41,Imogen,2,1,18/10/2003,08/02/2014
    42,Maskarade,2,0,24/08/2013,21/12/2013
    43,Enigmatist, Paul & Shed,2,0,16/02/2011,29/11/2013
    44,Fiore,1,0,13/10/2009,13/10/2009
    45,Enigmatist & Paul,1,0,19/08/2009,19/08/2009
    46,Omnibus,1,0,29/08/2005,29/08/2005
    47,Kookaburra,1,0,24/01/2004,24/01/2004
    48,Chaucer,1,0,27/02/2003,27/02/2003

    If anybody wants more detail, I may consider trying to find a way of posting the full spreadsheet.

  5. 355
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    Thanks for that BH.

    It looks like Imogen takes time with her crossword compiling. That’s probably why I didn’t remember her.

    Before I saw your reply I’d already started on my spreadsheet. I’ve got a little program mining away at the Guardian archive as we speak. (It’s a slow job)

    I’ve already noticed that quite a few puzzles appear to be missing and yes I’ve seen the compiler None too. I guess a lot of the “missing” puzzles could just be typos when the url file was created although you wouldn’t expect that to happen if the system was automated. (It is the Grauniad though!)

    I’ll continue with this just out of interest. Hopefully the results will look similar to your summary.

  6. 356
    beery hiker Says:

    The summary here is already out of date (so far just the line for Chifonie), and since completing the list I’ve only been updating my version once a month or so. I used Google searches for the pre-15^2 period because I found it quicker than the rather clunky Guardian search. The gaps are mostly in the early years i.e. pre-2002. The only recent one that may be contentious is the Araucaria tribute (29/11/13) that appeared with no setter’s name, but had a clue which fairly clearly attributed it to Enigmatist, Paul & Shed, so I credited them.

  7. 357
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    Mine’s almost finished now. I didn’t use the online search but went straight to the archive via url address. I accessed the html source directly from some php code which tried to read every puzzle.

    I still have 30 puzzle numbers to search by hand for which the url wasn’t found. A quick glance shows that a few of these, if not all, are prize puzzles with “funny” url names.

    Looks like these are some of the Bank Holiday Specials. I can sort them by hand hopefully.

    My Arachne figures agrees with yours so all looks good. Guess she’s never done an “special” prize puzzle :-)

  8. 358
    beery hiker Says:

    You’re doing better than me – I did the whole thing by hand!

    The only four I failed to find any trace of at all were: 21742 (13 Nov 1999), 21676 (28 Aug 1999), 21646 (24 Jul 1999) and 21626 (1 Jul 1999). I gave 21676 to Araucaria since the date suggests it was a Bank Holiday prize – the other 3 are excluded from the list.

    5 of the Nones were also in 1999 so I suspect the Guardian software had more bugs in it then.

  9. 359
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    By hand!!!!! I salute your patience. How many years did that take? ;-)

    I’m still missing

    21626
    21645
    21646
    21676
    21742
    21777
    21831
    21951
    22032
    22189
    22375
    22557
    22574
    22725
    22920
    23735
    23741

    Obviously I know the dates but just have no setter. It’s interesting that there are 2 kinds of failure on the Guardian archive. One which is a 404 error where the archive knows about the number but can’t seem to find the file it thinks it’s in. The other, which is rarer, where the archive doesn’t even know about the puzzle number!!! Of your 4 only 21626 is of the former variety. So the Guardian appear to have lost the other 3 as well.

  10. 360
    beery hiker Says:

    I did it a couple of years ago, and it took about 3 months, an hour or two at a time, helped quite a lot by Excel’s autocomplete. I think some of these may have gone missing since I found them a couple of years ago, but in some cases I tried searching for the missing dates instead of the numbers, for example the first one appears in the archive as 21465 and the third as 21381 (so in a brute force search it might be worth trying earlier numbers). I may just have assumed that 21777 was an Araucaria Christmas special.

    I have the following: 21645 – Rover, 21777 – Araucaria, 21831 – Fawley, 21951 – Bunthorne, 22032 – Quantum
    22189 – Enigmatist, 22375 – Araucaria, 22557 – Gordius, 22574 – Pasquale, 22725 – Araucaria,
    22920 – Bunthorne, 23735 – Paul, 23741 – Araucaria.
    The last two probably came from the fifteensquared list, which I used for all of the more recent ones except for a few for which I couldn’t find blogs, since that way I found more per search.

  11. 361
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    Thanks for that BH. I never thought to look for the missing entries in the Archive By Date section. As you say there are entries for some of them with the compiler name but the link doesn’t actually work. Enough info for us though.

    I’m almost there now. Just some tweeking, checking and development of the spreadsheet. Unfortunately I’m away for 2 days now so no time.

    Thanks for your help. I’ll post here when it’s complete with a possible link to share it.

  12. 362
    Rishi Says:

    I have several files of Guardian crosswords but I can’t open them! To be able to do that I must buy an app but I am not too keen on the latter.
    These files have been procured by automation to be imported into the app.
    I find that 21626 is missing in this collection as well.

  13. 363
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    I have completed the spreadsheet of all the cryptic puzzles from the Guardian since 24th June 1999 until 7th February 2014.

    Click Here for Guardian Cryptic Archive

    I take no responsibility for accuracy or any problems with the download. However it should be safe.

    No need to sign up just click on “To Download” and double click the Excel Document. The Summary Tab is probably the most useful.

    I will try and update this to the present on a monthly basis.

  14. 364
    Mitz Says:

    Great effort, Brendan (nto) and Beery Hiker.

    I wonder if the Guardian have archives going back further into the depths of time…

  15. 365
    beery hiker Says:

    Brendan,

    Well done! I’ve downloaded your list and compared it with mine, which has revealed 16 probable errors in my list – 6 of them in the same week, which I must have typed in the wrong order. I think your automated method has missed a couple that were joint efforts and credited them to Enigmatist. 25247 was credited to Enigmatist, Paul & Shed, 24782 to Enigmatist & Paul (I’ve just checked both). Apart from that your list agrees with mine apart from the ones I noted in earlier comments, so I think we’re getting close!

    Mitz, I’d love to know if anyone has lists from earlier than 1999 too, but I suspect compiling that list would involve spending years in newspaper libraries. Maybe one day OCR scans will appear online…

    I’ve just corrected the errors, and updated my list to include the last few, and the totals are now as follows:

    1,Araucaria,786,0,26/06/1999,16/11/2013
    2,Rufus,604,7,28/06/1999,17/02/2014
    3,Paul,525,6,16/07/1999,13/02/2014
    4,Gordius,315,2,15/07/1999,28/01/2014
    5,Shed,185,1,13/07/1999,23/01/2014
    6,Chifonie,172,3,03/07/1999,24/01/2014
    7,Orlando,169,1,14/09/1999,14/02/2014
    8,Pasquale,155,3,02/07/1999,15/02/2014
    9,Bunthorne,146,0,10/08/1999,04/11/2006
    10,Brendan,133,2,11/05/2006,06/02/2014
    11,Brummie,123,2,04/07/2003,05/02/2014
    12,Rover,116,0,24/06/1999,20/01/2011
    13,Quantum,112,0,21/07/1999,15/02/2011
    14,Taupi,109,0,07/07/1999,14/11/2009
    15,Logodaedalus,97,0,06/07/1999,26/08/2013
    16,Janus,89,0,29/06/1999,30/10/2006
    17,Enigmatist,86,1,26/08/1999,19/02/2014
    18,Arachne,74,2,28/06/2006,30/01/2014
    19,Puck,73,2,08/12/2006,18/02/2014
    20,Audreus,58,0,01/10/1999,09/01/2013
    21,Crucible,40,1,03/05/2008,20/02/2014
    22,Bonxie,40,0,01/05/2009,05/10/2013
    23,Crispa,39,0,05/07/1999,06/12/2004
    24,Mercury,36,0,28/07/1999,26/07/2002
    25,Boatman,35,0,01/10/2008,12/12/2013
    26,Auster,35,0,30/05/2000,22/12/2010
    27,Gemini,32,0,04/08/1999,19/01/2005
    28,Tramp,27,2,28/04/2011,12/02/2014
    29,Philistine,27,2,26/05/2011,01/02/2014
    30,Plodge,22,0,09/07/1999,01/10/2002
    31,Picaroon,20,2,16/03/2012,07/02/2014
    32,Fawley,20,0,25/06/1999,11/09/2000
    33,Qaos,13,1,12/01/2012,15/01/2014
    34,None,10,0,12/07/1999,04/03/2002
    35,Biggles,9,0,01/04/2000,26/10/2013
    36,Fidelio,6,0,06/02/2001,23/04/2003
    37,Nutmeg,5,2,20/09/2013,04/02/2014
    38,Hendra,5,0,29/10/1999,18/01/2002
    39,Egoist,4,0,18/07/2000,17/07/2003
    40,Otterden,3,1,25/10/2013,25/01/2014
    41,Imogen,2,1,18/10/2003,08/02/2014
    42,Maskarade,2,0,24/08/2013,21/12/2013
    43,Enigmatist, Paul & Shed,2,0,16/02/2011,29/11/2013
    44,Fiore,1,0,13/10/2009,13/10/2009
    45,Enigmatist & Paul,1,0,19/08/2009,19/08/2009
    46,Omnibus,1,0,29/08/2005,29/08/2005
    47,Kookaburra,1,0,24/01/2004,24/01/2004
    48,Chaucer,1,0,27/02/2003,27/02/2003

  16. 366
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    Thanks BH.

    I’ll correct the missed joint puzzles and go through your earlier posts for anything else I’ve missed.

    I’ll only update the downloadable version when I run the update at the end of this month.

  17. 367
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    New name for the archive!

    Click here for latest Guardian Cryptic Puzzle Archive Spreadsheet

    See earlier for instructions

  18. 368
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    Oooops. Error in previous post

    New name for the archive!

    Click here for latest Guardian Cryptic Puzzle Archive Spreadsheet

    See earlier for instructions

  19. 369
    Sylvia Says:

    I keep wondering where the ‘check button’ can be found, which many people seem to use but I don’t appear to have one?

  20. 370
    Limeni Says:

    Hello Sylvia, which crossword are you working on?

  21. 371
    Dave Ellison Says:

    When I try to access the Independent Cryptic crossword, I have problems with Java, I believe. Does anyone know a way around this?

  22. 372
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Dave E. @371
    You can avoid the Java problems by downloading and installing Crossword Solver from here:

    http://www.crosswordsolver.info/

    You will then be able to download the Indy puzzle and print a copy or solve it on-screen (with the reveal letter/word options still available).

  23. 373
    Sylvia Says:

    Limeni: Thanks for your response. Guardian cryptics.

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